Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Isn't this an amazing picture(taken by E, not me)?? Scrawny's elder siblings returned to the Home Bamboo and all three little birds spent most of the day huddling together while their parents foraged tirelessly for food! In case it isn't already very obvious, Scrawny is the one in the centre, with the no-tail and the reddish head. He is still extremely backward in the development stakes, but I am now feeling very much happier for him. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

There he is, Li'l Scrawny, standing bravely at the helm of his nest (and looking rather blurred. I took half a dozen pix, each one worse than the one before. This was the pick of the jitter). I took this on Sunday mid-afternoon, a day filled with crises and near-crises for the tenacious little varmint. I don't expect to get any more pictures because he's moved out of the nest now, and isn't likely to get back in. As of Monday (30th May) evening, he was alive and reasonably perky. Earlier in the afternoon, he finally did what we'd been expecting him to do all of Sunday, i.e., fall out of the bamboo. But E collected him (against the strenuous protests of his flutteringly frantic parents) and put him back inside the nest. He promptly reared up and fell out again, but was returned just as promptly, and this time, a hand was held over his head to prevent him from popping straight out again. After this trauma, he remained pretty much glued to the tree -- outside the nest, however -- until nightfall. He's been stretching his wings and standing tall on his toothpick-thin legs and preening what little he has in the way of feathers. The last I saw of him, he'd tucked his tiny head under his tiny wing, and was apparently asleep. One miniature pompom of White Eye fluff, asleep under cover of darkness. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Li'l Scrawny still lives ...

... as of the afternoon of Sunday 29th May. We are keeping a close watch on him. His parents are still feeding him, but I believe they're not keeping up with his appetite. He's spent most of the day perched at the edge of the nest (pic will follow later today), his head occasionally drooping. He has a little habit of resting his chin on a nearby twiglet, which looks very sweet but is perhaps a sign of terminal fatigue and hunger. Sometimes he chirps quite energetically, othertimes, it's a barely audible little cheeee ... He did preen himself at one point, which is a great sign, but he's still rather bedraggled to look at. Hardly any head feathers to speak of, smaller than the siblings (who have flown to the bamboo in the front garden) and very unsteady on his feet. I am unwilling to intervene directly by e.g. feeding him -- besides the tedium of having to run around catching insects (not something I am skilled at doing) I fear that any interaction might put his parents off stride and that would be a disaster. *sigh* It is all so DIFFICULT.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Little Scrawny's Last Stand

Of course he looks like an iguana here, but in reality that small pink head an yellow beak are about the size of my thumb-nail -- okay, I might be a giant -- the size of an apricot pit.
Posted by Hello

Some Good, Some Bad

The bad news is, I wasn't able to take any more candid pix of the birdies. The good news is, it's because they developed so quickly that this morning (i.e., three days after I took that picture) they were out of the nest and pumping their wings! It's absolutely miraculous that they could go from near-naked to almost fledged. However, there's more bad news: the littlest one didn't make it. Or won't, I think, by tomorrow morning.

All of today, we've been keeping a close watch (but at a distance; since the day I took pictures, we've not gone close to the nest). In the morning, we both noticed a hilarious sight: the nest would appear to be empty (from our vantage point, on the ground, through binoculars) until one of the parents approached. Whereupon -- POP! -- like tiny jacks-in boxes, three little heads shot straight up, peeping and calling!

Barely two hours later, when we looked again, two of the birdies were out of the nest and sitting on a nearby branch looking around themselves with interest, and preening their minature wings. An hour later, they had flapped and hopped their way further from the nest. The parents, meanwhile, were busy flying back and forth, feeding them as well as the one left behind in the nest. Already, it was beginning to look grim for the third one, now dubbed Scrawny.

The parents continued feeding Scrawny all morning, which looked hopeful. Around three o'clock, he (or she) actually hopped out of the nest for a breather. But it was very clear that he was woefully underdeveloped compared to the other two: completely naked head, no wing feathers to speak of. At four, I saw that he was back inside the nest, and looking out in a wistful way. As if recognizing that this wider world was not for him. A brisk breeze had caught the young bamboo in its grip and kept shaking it, so that the little nest was rocking like a ship in high seas. Nevertheless, I decided I had to take my chances with a picture of Scrawny while he was still alive.

I couldn't get close, the light was fading and the tree was in motion. I had my camera zoomed out to maximum and the result is rather blurred, but I captured this tiny little bird, looking out over the rim of his only home on earth, perhaps for the last time, in a manner that I found deeply poignant. I will try to post the picture here, but I had such a struggle the other day, I'm not confident of getting it done tonight. A small bony head and jutting beak, quite repulsive in its way, but in the upward tilt of its head, in the comfort it sought in its home, I see all that is ever-hopeful and perhaps naive about the life-force.

I know it's very silly of me, but I'm crying as I write this. Of course I know that little birds have to die now and then, and that this one was quite lucky after all that it will (probably) die in its own cosy home tonight. Knowing that doesn't make it less sad. Well, well, well. I better stop this ridiculous sentimentality and see if I can post that picture.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yesterday morning I took a picture of three White Eye nestlings. They're about ten days old, I think. It's been about three weeks since we noticed the nest and the three tiny blue eggs inside it. The nest itself is a delicate little cup, the size of half-a-tennis ball, hollowed out. It's been built very cunningly at the end of a slender bamboo "branch" -- hardly substantial enough to be called that -- so that cats cannot approach the nest. The adult birds are petite and yellowy-green in colour, with a pronounced white ring around the eyes. I was afraid that my intrusion within their lives could cause them trauma, but they seem to have recovered. Will post updates as I get 'em ... Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

Two More Blogs on My List

Featured in the list on the right, please find links to JABBERWOCK and DUCK OF DESTINY, two very entertaining and h'erudite blogs. I'll leave you to discover to whom they belong but can guarantee amusing and provocative reads. There are so many great blogs out there that it's tough deciding which ones to add to my list -- or, it WOULD be tough, if not that my inclusion criteria are fixed at: (a) those blogs that had something freaky-but-fun (such as the Subservient Chicken) and (b) those blogs that have been the source of visits to my blog (I know from the "referrals" at the site meter). No interest like self-interest, heh heh.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Elegant Ammunition

Here's a list of insults to impress your enemies even as you needle them!

"A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults." -Louis Nizer

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." -Stephen Bishop

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." -Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." -Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." -William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" -Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." -Moses Hadas

"His ears made him look like a taxicab with both doors open." -Howard Hughes (about Clark Gable)

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others." -Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." -Paul Keating "He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." -Jack E. Leonard

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." -Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." -Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." -Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." -James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." -Charles, Count Talleyrand

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on?" -Mark Twain

"A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity." -Mark Twain

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." -Mae West

"She is a peacock in everything but beauty." -Oscar Wilde

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." -Oscar Wilde

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -Billy Wilder

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

-- time to do a mini-promo for Suki, the central character in my comic strip DOUBLE TALK, recently published by Penguin India (see column on the right for more details -- this is just one frame of a panel in which she appears in cabaret-drag). The strip (pun intended, in this particular case) used to appear in the Sunday Observer in Bombay in the 1980s. Aeons ago, yes! -- but I was always so far removed from reality, that the outside world barely appeared in the strip at all. Or ... well, that's what I think and there's a chance I might be a teensy weensy bit biased. Posted by Hello

A Nasty Violent Thought

Today I had a nasty, violent thought -- so of course, I had to share it here. It grew out of the recent Sunday's instalment of "WE, THE PEOPLE" (a talk show on NDTV hosted by the excellent Barkha Dutt). The topic was the sharp rise in incidents of rape around the country.

One of the questions asked was, "Do you believe that capital punishment for rapists will be a good deterrent?" The audience was undecided -- but apparently the reason for their uncertainty was that it wouldn't make a difference when amongst the problems a victim faces is inaction on the part of the Establishment at the time she brings her complaint. One of the statistics quoted during the program was that only 14% of cases reported in [the country] -- I'm not sure now whether that number is for the whole country or just one of the metros -- reach the courts. When asked to discuss solutions, the audience seemed to be at a loss. The consensus seemed to be that women should arm themselves with pepperspray and be afraid, be very afraid.

My nasty violent thought isn't about deterrence or capital punishment(to which I am opposed). But it is about what to do about the psychological trauma that victims are left to deal with. I was wondering whether, as a form of therapy for rape victims AND as a suitable punishment for the perpetrators, the victims could be allowed to flog their assailants? Given that there's no way for a victim to recover her self-esteem, honour, etc etc -- how about letting her externalize her sense of outrage in a physical way? On the one hand, I imagine it would be powerful medicine for her damaged ego; on the other hand, it may be a more effective deterrent than the death penalty -- which, as we know, is no deterrent at all.

Yes, it does suggest a brutalized, barbaric, degenerate society. But so does the escalation in the rate of crimes. During the program (of which I watched only a couple of segments) I didn't hear any discussion of the possible causes for this rise in crimes against women. It seems to me that one very obvious cause is the skewed male/female ration -- which is, of course, only getting worse annually. According to demographers, what lies ahead for (Indian) women is the prospect of becoming further and further marginalized and commodified, subject to kidnappings, forced marriages, marriages to several brothers at once and other horrors. Given these facts, it seems to me, for those 14% of victims who get their day in court, the prospect of whipping their assailant (semi-naked? Forty lashes? Whatever) in full view of the court would at least have the benefit of permitting them a moment of pleasurable revenge and may go a long way towards recovering their self-esteem.

Sorry if this nauseates some of you! Gotta express my dark side now and then.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

See the PREVIOUS previous caption (I thought all three pix would post one after the other. Wrong again, duh) Posted by Hello

Oops. See prev. caption. Posted by Hello

... and another three pix. All taken, BTW with my moron proof Nikon Coolpix 2100 -- all praise and credit go to the machine, coz all my pix before this camera have been of the kind that don't get shared. Posted by Hello

Monday morning: I and a friend spent an hour looking around the shrine at Nizamuddin -- I've lived in Nude Elly for the past 20 years and have NEVER visited the shrine. It was like stepping through a crack in the wall, straight into the past, about three centuries back in time. The sun, let me assure you, was just as hot then as it is now ...  Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I'm afraid I gave in to the urge to attempt limerix using the words designated in the lists (see below) of USELESS FACTS as being amongst the most difficult to create rhymes for. I can remember reading that "orange" is supposed to be the least rhyme-able common word in the English language but had not previously known that SILVER, PURPLE and MONTH were similarly handicapped.

I've not been especially successful in the way of rhymes, but I decided to post the results of my efforts anyway. I'm still working on "MONTH", but en route to it got one for its plural. (I displayed the one for SILVER in the "Comments" of the post before this one -- I know it's a particularly painful example of its breed, but *shrug* I didn't want to discriminate against it by dropping it from this group). Wince away ...

There once was a ruler of Orange
Who yearned for a tamarind lozenge
Alas! He found none.
So he sobbed in the sun
That sorrowful ruler of Orange.

A writer of prose that was purple,
Wed a glamorous sea-faring turtle.
Together they flew
From Bonn to Peru
Saying, "Thither and yonder we hurtle!"

Our friendly neighbourhood dunce,
Wrote a five-minute canticle once.
We asked him how long
He worked on that song
And he told us, quite candidly, "Months."

A nervous young bandit named Wilbur
Asked a North Indian lass for her silver.
She rose up and spat
"I'm pregnant, you rat!
"Don't get me upset, or I'll dilver!"

(a day later) -- and here's that last one! (note: I realize it would be more logical to thpell ... uhh ... spell "oneth" as "onthe". But that way the pronunciation is less obvious, so I left it as it is)

A lusty young lisper said, "Oneth
"I had thexth every day, every month.
"Tho avid wath I
"My lover went dry
"And that wath the end of my humpth."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

B'golly and B'gosh, if it ain't ANOTHER ...

... 31 -- no, wait! There's a further list!! -- 62 completely useless facts

01. Scissors were invented by Leonardo da Vinci
02. The Great Wall of China took 1,700 years to build
03. Before the 19th century there were no separate shoes for the right and left feet
04. A syzygy is what happens when three astronomical bodies become aligned. (oh come on! EVERYONE who plays Scrabble knows THAT)
05. According to Judaic laws, it is officially sunset when you can no longer tell the difference between a red thread and a black thread
06. A jiffy is 1/100th of a second
07. There is no word to rhyme with Orange, Purple, Silver or Month (eh? Wot about "oneth" as in "Oneth ith not enough," said the lisping nymphomaniac.)
08. The Japanese word for sex is “sekkusu”
09. Pac Man was originally supposed to be named “Puck Man”, from the puck-shaped character. But the name was changed at the last minute for fear of mispronunciation, unintentional or otherwise
10. Before jets were invented, jet lag was known as “boat lag”
11. November 19th is “Have a Bad Day Day”
12. When a film-maker doesn’t want his or her name to be featured in the film’s titles, they use the name Smithee 13. A full moon always rises at sunset
14. The word “honeymoon” goes back to ancient Babylon, where it was the custom for the bride’s parents had to supply the groom honey-flavoured wine for one month after the marriage
15. The word “bogeyman” comes from the Bugis people of Indonesia, who were pirates feared by early European sailors
16. Breathing on a copper penny can make a breathalyzer test score zero
17. The origin of the term “Son of a gun” was this: in the old days, when women were allowed on board British naval ships, they gave birth behind a canvas screen erected near the midship gun. If the child’s paternity was uncertain, it was entered in the ship’s log as “Son of a gun” (and if it's a daughter?)
18. More Russians were killed in World War II than English, Americans, French, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Canadians, Australians and Indians, all put together
19. e.g. stands for “exempli gratia”
20. The slinky was invented by an aircraft mechanic who got the idea while he was playing with an aircraft spring 21. Until 1896 all the world’s diamonds came from India (Source: the Gemological Institute of America)
22. The game of badminton was originally called “Poona” (... and is now known as "Pune")
23. The term “the whole nine yards” originated with World war II fighter pilots, whose 50 calibre machine gun bullet belts were 27 ft long. If a pilot finished a belt on a target, he said that “it got the whole nine yards”
24. The most difficult tongue-twister, according to research, is “The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick” (make that "The sixth sick Sikh's sixth sheep's sick" for South Asian readers, maybe?)
25. The four suites of cards in a pack were named after the four pillars of medieval economy. Spades represented Agriculture; Clubs represented the Army; Diamonds represented the Merchants and Hearts represented the Church
26. The Sukhoi SU 34 is the first fighter aircraft with a toilet
27. The origin of the term “naked truth” was this: Falsehood and Truth once went for a bath. Falsehood emerged first and stole Truth’s clothes. Truth refused to wear Falsehood’s clothes and so came out naked
28. A ¼ inch silicon chip has as much computing power as ENIAC, the world’s first computer, which occupied an entire city block
29. Motorola’s first product was an automobile record player. And hence the name “Motorola”, because the most popular record player at the time was named Victrola”
30. In cookery, one “dash” is equal to four drops
31. The four kings on playing cards commemorate real, historical kings: The King of Clubs is Alexander the Great, The King of Diamonds is Julius Caesar, The King of Hearts is Charlemagne, The King of Spades is King David

Okay, some of these Factoms (-- which, BTW, I am considering renaming as FACTICULES. Wodja think? It seems to me the second name is more appropriate, seeings as it's based on MOLECULES, which are combinations of atoms. Course, I notice that a large proportion of those who visit this blog behave like students in an Indian classroom -- i.e., the huge majority NEVER put their hands up to answer questions when asked for responses, preferring to leave the entire burden of leaving comments ... errrm ... answering questions, I mean, to the one or two SMART, ARTICULATE and INTELLIGENT ones ... *sigh* Ahh, nemmind. Don't let it bother you. I visit other blogs and don't leave comments EITHER. --) have already appeared in the other list. Can't be helped. THIS list was sent to me by a friend from a completely different sector of my buddy-galaxy, someone I've known for at least 200 years, who has been circulating jokes since long before the Internet was invented. I will refer to him here as Unvarium -- because he is bashful and probably does not like being referred to directly.

The following list is also from him. Together, that makes 62. See? I can add and everything.

01. Coca-Cola was originally green
02. The F-word was first uttered on screen in the 1968 movie, I’ll Never Forget Whatshisname, (Marianne Faithful was the actor)
03. The words “assassination”, “bump” and “lonely” were invented by Shakespeare
04. Britain is the only country whose name doesn’t appear on its postage stamps, because it was the first country to issue them
05. Any Rubik’s Cube combination can be solved in 17 moves
06. The shortest complete sentence in the English language is “I am.”
07. Mickey Mouse was named after child actor Mickey Rooney, whose mother Walt Disney had once dated
08. Pokemon is short for “Pocket Monster”
09. Most people button their shirts from the bottom upwards (okay, now I KNOW I'm not a person! I button top down)
10. Mosquito repellents block the mosquito’s sensors, so it doesn’t know you are there
11. The average pencil draws a line 35 miles long
12. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts
13. If Barbie was 5’9” she would measure 33-18-31 ½
14. KGB stands for Komitet Gozudarstvennoy Bezopasnos
15. A “walla-walla scene” in the movies is one where the extras keep saying “Walla-walla” to pretend they’re talking
16. The sounds F, P, T, D, S are the sounds that are the greatest spreaders of infection
17. It is easier for a Japanese speaker to learn Spanish than English. It is easier for an English speaker to learn Spanish than Japanese. (olé!)
18. According to research conducted in Denmark, beer tastes better when drunk to the accompaniment of a certain tone or frequency. The optimal frequency is different for each beer. For example, the optimal frequency for Carlsberg is 510-520 cycles per second
19. Brian de Palma’s Scarface had 206 F-words in it, averaging one every 29 seconds
20. According to the Bible, the chicken came before the egg (Genesis 1:20-22)
21. The last shot of the day in a film shooting is called the Martini shot. The second-last shot is called the Abby Singer.
22. Beer foam goes down if you lick your finger and stick it in the beer
23. You can throw an object further west than east … because of the earth’s rotation
24. The strength of early lasers was measured in “Gillettes”, depending on the number of Gillette blades they could penetrate
25. The ice-cream sundae was invented because back in 1875 it was against the law to serve soda on a Sunday
26. Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil (spoil what?)
27. The Bloody Mary was invented in Harry’s Bar in Paris in 1934 (why wasn't it Bloody Marie?)
28. There are 2,000,000 possible combinations from a Subway sandwich menu
29. A town becomes a city only after it gets a cathedral. Likewise, a hamlet becomes a village only after it gets a church (and a city becomes a metropolis only after it has a minimum number of traffic jams per day)
30. The most preferred bathroom reading in the USA is Reader’s Digest (read by 66% of people who claimed they read in the bathroom)
31. Bic pens were originally called Bich. The name was first changed for the American market, because of the fear that it would be mispronounced

Kurt Vonnegut, He Say ...

From the introduction to Bagombo Snuff Box (Vintage Books, Random House, 1999) this is Creative Writing 101, Kurt Vonnegut style (anyone out there -- if you know the correct pronunciation of this author's surname I'd be very greatful if you would tell me what it is. In the privacy of my inner ear, I pronounce it "VONN-I-GUT" to rhyme with BONNY NUT. However, a Dutch friend of mine confidently pronounced it FON-GOOT -- and I felt a deep uneasy stirring, because it seemed to me he had to be correct. Or ... ? Well, you tell me).

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Then he adds:
The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

I adore KV. Or his writing, anyway, having never met him. I think "Welcome to the Monkey House" is one of those short stories that should be compulsory reading for anyone who wants to pass the "Are You a Cool Human?" test.

Monday, May 09, 2005

New Book on the Block

It's been out since Monday, I think, but I've been too busy expressing my sloth genes to mention it here. So yes, here it is, the new Suki collection, this time from the Bombay years. Here's a link to the Penguin India page (in case your mouse is feeling lazy about hopping over to the column on the right): DOUBLE TALK. I hope the link worx! I had a struggle the other day with the BOOK CROSSING link and was too sleepy to attempt to fix it either then or later. I may be suffering from a form of web-allergy because I find I get sleepy almost as soon as I log-in ... *yawn* .. well, as you can see, it's happening again ...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


FACTOM: item of knowledge the same size or smaller than an atom.

The following list was sent to me by one my most industrious forwarder-of-jokes-friends, whom I know as CHUCK. Over the years he's sent me some great ones. Here's today's list. The remarks in pink/mauve are mine.

1. Money isn't made out of paper, it's made out of cotton.(wow! I must be rich! I have tons of cotton!)
2. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
3. The dot over the letter i is called a "tittle".
4. A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.
5. Susan Lucci is the daughter of Phyllis Diller.
6. 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
7. 315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
8. The 'spot' on 7UP comes from its inventor, who had red eyes. He was an albino.(No, he was just drunk on something other than 7-UP)
9. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily.
10. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.
11. Chocolate affects a dog's heart and nervous system; a few ounces will kill a small sized dog.
12. Orcas (killer whales) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.
13. Most lipstick contains fish scales (eeww).(Finally, I know why I don't wear any)
14. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
15. Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.
16. Upper and lower case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower' because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the 'upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters.
17. Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time (... hence, multi-tasking was invented.)
18. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.
19. There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.
20. The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan; there was never a recorded Wendy before!
21. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple, and silver! (I knew about "orange" but not about the other two. Darn. I know I'm not going to sleep tonight ...)
22. Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa's lips.(So I guess he DIDN'T invent lipstick?)
23. A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it instantly go mad and sting itself to death.(Errrm ... there must be SOMETHING useful I can do with this information ...)
24. The mask used by Michael Myers in the original "Halloween" was a Captain Kirk mask painted white.
25. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar (good to know.)
26. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand (and you thought this list was completely useless.)(And once you've done that, you can starve to death, out there, alone on the quicksand)
27. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.(... and husbands can be beaten with anything at all)
28. The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.
29. Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with. It's the same with apples!
30. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!(Yow! Great! I can retire my swimming goggles!)
31. The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
32. Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries. (I thought it was the HOLY BIBLE)
33. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages it
Arresting quote of the week: "George Carlin said it best about Martha Stewart ..."Boy, I feel a lot safer now that she's behind bars. O.J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant are still walking around; Osama Bin Laden too, but they take the one woman in America willing to cook, clean, and work in the yard, and haul her fanny off to jail."

Meanwhile, in other news I found a tiny confirmation that I wasn't entirely hallucinating about the Virgin Trains Easter Week promotion of MOUSE ATTACK -- I found a journal entry at a charming and fascinating book site called BOOK CROSSING -- if you see a link here, click for more information and then enjoy the site! http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/2659171